“My heart, payers and deepest condolences are with the victims of the Manchester Attack and their loved one,” writes Ariana Grande in her first full length statement since the terrorist attack following her concert at Manchester Arena on Monday. “There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling to make this better.”
“However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.”
The 23-year-old pop star was not amongst the 23 killed or 116 estimated injured, but was understandably shaken by the attack on fans that had come to just see her perform. Though, some on the internet have taken to cruelly criticizing her immediate actions to return to her family in Florida, there is no template for how a pop star should deal with such a situation. Though, at least one Georgia father of three of her fans, in a letter that has since gone viral, urged her to take as much time as she needed.
Previously, Grande had only issued a brief, but emotional tweet.
She has now followed that up with a promise to return to the city in a letter to the fans that attended that night.
“We will not quit or operate in fear,” she wrote. “We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win.”
“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously then we did before. I’ll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honor of and to raise money for the victims and their families.”
In a touching passage, Grande also explains how she hoped the shows on her Dangerous Woman Tour would be “a safe space for my fans. A place for them to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves. To meet their friends they’ve made online. To express themselves.”
“This will not change that.”
“[The victims] will be on my mind and in my heart everyday and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life,” she concluded.
Grande then Tweeted a link to a fundraiser page set up by the Manchester Evening News and British Red Cross benefiting the victims and their families.